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Environment: Ibiza Preservation Fund

The beauty of Ibiza, the crystal clear waters, are all celebrated by residents and visitors alike - but who looks after it?

Ibiza is a remarkable island. It boasts the best nightlife in the world; great restaurants, fabulous shopping, luxury hotels and villas set amongst some of the Mediterranean's most beautiful, natural clean beaches and aromatic pine clad hills. Ibiza also has a culturally rich rural way of life expressed by unparalleled pastoral beauty and a local food culture that, thanks to local and international chefs, is becoming world famous.

Every gorgeous touristic place in the world struggles to maintain a balance between the natural world and the needs of a tourism industry desirous of enjoying that beauty. Dedicated advocates have committed themselves to preserve what we find so enchanting.

The Ibiza Preservation Fund (IPF) is a charity created to fund local groups working to preserve the environment of Ibiza and Formentera. In 2009, a trio of young English citizens, Ben Goldsmith, Serena Cook and Will Aitken, who harbour a deep love for Ibiza, felt that in order to nurture an island that gives them so much joy, they had to work to preserve its uniqueness for generations to come. The IPF is a vital source of funding for the relatively small number of NGO's on the island, run mostly by volunteers undertaking front-line environmental work on precarious budgets.

Ongoing Projects

Ibiza was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site because of its rare blend of both biodiversity and well-preserved cultural heritage. IPF's work reflects this range in its funding.

In the area of Marine ecology and coastal preservation they have funded initiatives to preserve habitat for the critically endangered Balearic Shearwater bird, created the “Alianza Mar Blava”, or “Blue Sea Alliance”, a historic alliance of private sector interests, social groups and local governments opposed to the prospect of off-shore oil drilling near Ibiza.

IPF is working to strengthen the protection of the designated Unesco World Heritage fields of Marine Posidonia, one of the oldest living entities on earth. Posidonia is an important fish habitat vital for the health of the Mediterranean.

Reflecting the recognition that this small island has supported human habitation for thousands of years in harmony with the environment IPF has created a Land Bank, whose purpose is to connect people who wish to farm, with land owners who are unable to tend their fields; a Black Pig recovery centre ensures the continued breeding of this historic breed which is an important part of farming ecology. The land bank also promotes the consumption and planting of local grains and vegetable varietals. For more comprehensive information on these and other initiatives please visit their website.

Fund Raising and Awareness Initiatives

Keep an eye out for and participate in IPF's new initiatives to raise funds and awareness. The newest is ‘1 Euro per Table'. Spearheaded by Jonathan Thorogood of El Chiringuito, other local restaurants like La Paloma, Nagai and Cicale have followed suit. Look for a small card sitting on the table or a note written into the menu at participating restaurants inviting diners to donate 1 Euro per table. The initiative is easy for restaurants to implement and clients have been supporting it wholeheartedly. Restaurants whom would like to join in can contact IPF.

May 2-5th the third annual Round the Island Cycling Challenge is a joint GOSH (Great Ormond Street Hospital) and IPF event. Two days of racing over two routes (50km/90km) make the race inclusive for differing abilities. Last year, around a 100 cyclists participated raising around 20,000 Euros for IPF. The event reflects Ibiza's famous lifestyle and when not racing participants will enjoy leisurely paella lunches on the beach and late-nights dancing at Pacha.

Want to get involved?

Sandra Benbeniste, the IPF co-coordinator invites all communities on Ibiza, all nationalities to have a voice in IPF's work. She looks forward to hearing from you with your concerns and ideas to keep Ibiza magical.

Image: Artwork by Dominique Sansom, island artist who supports the IPF